Friday, August 5, 2011

Hood Alignment

Ty and I aligned the hood until we had a nice gap along both fenders and the front of the car.  Shims were installed as necessary then all 10 hinge bolts were torqued down tight.

When we rebuilt the front end a year ago the body was off the chassis.  Now that the body is on the chassis, the headlight brackets are installed and the hood is aligned, we can see there are issues. 

The front corners of the hood and the front center of the hood are properly shimmed with the body but the nose sags in between those areas.  Ty and I agreed the mismatch in height was unacceptable and we also agreed the cure would not be Bondo.

It sags between each of the headlight buckets.

We decided to remove the front end support structure in its entirety and start over.  This took hours of work and it was not for the squeamish.

If you double click on this picture you'll see hammers, chisels, a sledge hammer, an air chisel and a variety of other tools of persuasion.  More importantly, the nose support and the headlight bucket supports have been removed.

After grinding away the old bonding adhesive from all the supports and the underbody we started reassembly.  Because bonding adhesive sets up so quickly it was decided to bond the nose support in sections starting with the center.  In this picture the clamps hold the the nose support in position while the center section is being bonded.  The dumbbell is holding the center section flush with the hood.

Bonding adhesive is a catalyst compound that basically glues fiberglass pieces together.  Unlike Bondo, it can not be used as a filler.  Because the hood support is now bonded at the center, access to the rest of the support is limited.  In cases like this I've found that disposable cake decorating bags work great as an applicator.  In this picture the bonding adhesive is mixed, loaded in the bag and ready to be piped into place.  All I have to do is snip the bag and squeeze.  I get about 10 minutes working time before the adhesive starts to set up.  

Once again I use dumbbells to maintain alignment with the hood.  They work great.

I think the results are exceptional.  Compare this picture with the first and judge for yourself.

If you haven't guessed, headlight buckets are next.

Thanks for watching.


  1. You and Ty did good. The hood fits inside the cavity perfectly now. Question, I have read everything, but I still don't get why you actually had to do this in the first place. What cause this to be so far off?

    what happened back in the day, did the car come out of the factory so much higher than the hood, or did the old adhesive give way and the front popped up or something? Jimp

  2. Correction. I am 180 off on my statement. What would make the front drop so low over time? The drop looks like a step down, more than a sag so I just don't get what caused all this from the get go? Jimp

  3. Jim, Nothing wrong with the car, the misalignment happened when we rebuilt the front end last year. The height of the body in relation to the hood is adjusted by the thickness of the bonding adhesive. Last year we just clamped the parts together with little to no consideration for the hood and headlights. The bonding adhesive was not thick enough. That is why we had to remove everything. We had to reinstall with thicker bonding. Hope that answered the question. Thanks, John

  4. Ahhh. Got it.that answers why one of the first pics of the car, the hood was almost perfect in height to the nose at that time. You guys goofed awhile back ! Ha I get it. Bottom line is by showing all this, you guys just helped the next guy doing a build like this, from making the same error, I.e if your gonna rebond the front end, align with the hood when you do it. Good lesson. So does this mean the headlights are gonna need tweaking as well ? Jimp.

  5. Yep, the headlights have the same problem for the same reason as the hood. The headlights are proving to be a challenge but they will be much better when we are done. Are you in China?

  6. Yep, been here since around ryans wedding. I think I could sell your car once done, over here in china for big bucks. Nobody has ever seen one of these here, and many people over here have big bucks now. Jimp